The show must go on! Spark TV to present online play May 2

May 2, 2020
By BBadmin7502

BY OLIVIA CAMERON – Even without hot stage lights and quirky costume design, the theatre lives on in Spark Boca Grande’s eyes. With the technical help of a 21-year-old, their visions of a socially distant live play will become a reality.
On Saturday, May 2, the Spark actors will team up with New York playwright Ed Gross to give islanders a live read-through of Ed’s original work titled “His Second Act.”
Starring islanders Kris Doubles, Linda Rollyson, James Martin, Sally Johnson, Maggie Bush, Elaine Skypala, Meryl Schaffer and Erica Ress Martin, the comedy play is the perfect way to get Boca Grande residents laughing from their own homes during these trying times.
As Ed’s lifelong friend, Erica envisioned her friend group bringing his characters to life in an internet rendition. With practices commencing over Zoom conference calls, the group was glad to have kept the acting ball rolling.
The upcoming play will tell an interesting tale of what it’s like to base your own virtue after someone else’s obstacles. His Second Act follows a play within a play, and tells the protagonists’ tale of basing his inspiration off those around him.
“It is an almost screwball comedy about the creative process of a comedian writing a play, and how he uses his life to write it,” said Ed.
He began piecing his play together almost four years ago after writing three successful one-acts.
“You’ll know in the second act of the play what the concept was that made me feel like this play should be written,” he explained.
Despite acting from home, these cast members are elated to continue entertaining the community. Sally Johnson said, “I think it’s important for actors to connect with one another and interact while having the writer sit in.”
As the group’s first livestream play, the cast hopes to focus on their delivery of the script and the dialogue. Without much room to interact and gesture, the livestream will be read in each actor’s best character rendition.
“This kind of situation lets you focus on the play itself,” said Linda Rollyson. “We’ve brought livestreaming to the island, but fingers crossed that the internet isn’t problematic for our play!”
Elaine Skypala remained pragmatic about the potential issues with a live feed from home.
“Hopefully someone doesn’t mow the lawn next door,” she joked.
The cast is excited to pull together an original play, and to develop their characters solely by intuition, alongside Ed’s reading of stage directions to give scene indications that can’t be communicated through a conference call.
“It’s a fabulous feeling to work alongside friends,” said Erica Martin.
The play will run live through a link provided directly to Spark Boca Grande TV on YouTube. The livestream will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 but will be recorded and uploaded to view at any time on their channel. The group is also asking for viewers to write in and give reviews to shape their performance. Reviews can be sent to
Meryl Schaffer summed up the feeling of all the cast when she stressed the importance of giving viewers something to laugh about in a time like this.
“I think everyone feels good about putting on a comedy,” she said.